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Home > Craft Topics > Projects > Shisha Embroidery
All projects are FREE, however, donations towards the upkeep of Walkabout Crafts are much appreciated. Please click below to make a donation..Shishadur, or mirror work, is prolific in northern India and Pakistan where, according to local custom, the tiny pieces of silvered glass were stitched on to clothes to frighten away evil spirits.
Working Shisha stitch
1. Mark the position of the mirror discs on to the fabric. Position the
first mirror at the marked position on the fabric and hold it in place
with the left thumb. Knot thread end and bring the needle out of the
fabric on the left hand side, one quarter of the way up the disc. Take
thread across the disc at this point and make a vertical stitch behind
disc, up to the top quarter.
2. Take the thread back over the disc and bring needle out on left side of the base, one quarter of the way in from the edge.
3. Take the needle under the first thread; pull it through and hold it with the thumb. Take the needle under the thread above, in the same way, pull it through, then stitch into the fabric above. Bring the needle out alongside top stitch, one quarter of the way in from the top right hand edge.
4. Work the same two stitches over the other half of the disc, bringing
the needle out to the base of the first stitch.
5. Take the needle and thread under the first intersection and bring the needle out to the right of the working thread.
6. Make a small stitch alongside the disc at the base of the working thread, keeping the thread under the needle. This motion will form a chain stitch.
7. Take the needle under the left vertical thread and pull it out the
other side, keeping the thread behind the needle.
8. Make another stitch in the same chain as before with the thread under the needle. Carry on repeating these last three steps round the vertical threads, until the whole disc has been encircled with embroidery.
Shisha Cushion Cover
This cover is worked in two different border patterns using a
combination of traditional shisha stitch and chain stitch. The borders
are repeated in parallel rows across the cushion.
Put the leaf border in the centre of the cushion and ensure that you finish with two shisha borders at the outer edges. The finished cushion measures 15 inches. Use one strand of cotton throughout.
You will need:
two 41cm square pieces of dark blue cotton fabric
thirty small mirrors 15mm in diameter or sequins of the same size
anchor stranded cotton in dark red 0799 and dark green 0923
38cm square cushion pad
dressmakers carbon paper
matching sewing thread
Making the cover
1. Fold one square of navy fabric in half and press. Tack along fold line. Trace the borders and use dressmakers carbon paper to transfer them on to fabric. Start with the leaf border and centre it onto the tacked line.
2. Place a piece of mirror or sequin at each marked position and work shisha all round to hold it, using one strand of red. Work a border of chain stitch round each mirror following the marked outline.
3. Using one strand of green embroidery cotton, work the leaf motif in chain stitch. Outline the leaf motif with two rows of gold chain stitch.
4. Finally, work two rows of gold chain stitch round the outer edges of both the shisha and the leaf motifs.
5. Place embroidered square on backing square, right sides together, Pin and stitch together all round, leaving an opening in the base edge. Trim and turn right side out. Insert cushion pad; turn in opening edges and slipstitch together to close.
'Project submitted by Kimberley Merchant from Kimberley's Crafts'
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